Fixed-investment spending in South Africa grew by the most in almost three years in the second quarter as companies and households invested in alternative energy sources because of persistent power cuts.
A sharp rise in investments in imported machinery and equipment – mostly for electricity infrastructure – led gross fixed capital formation to increase by 3.9% in the quarter, compared with 1.8% in the prior three months, Statistics South Africa said in a report released in the capital, Pretoria, on Tuesday. That contributed to better-than-expected gross domestic product growth of 0.6% in the second quarter.
South Africa’s power plant repairs exacerbate outages (September 5, 12:18 p.m.)
South Africa returned to deeper electricity outages due to an increase in repairs at the state power utility’s plants that are needed to improve the reliability of the grid, according to the nation’s electricity minister.
Eskom has implemented record power cuts this year mainly due to breakdowns at its coal-fired units. So-called stage six load shedding, which removes 6 000 megawatts from the grid to prevent a total blackout, returned on Tuesday for the first time since mid-July.
Electricity demand declines at the end of South Africa’s winter, which creates a window to increase maintenance, and the schedule for that work needs to be implemented as planned, Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said in an online briefing on Tuesday.
Eskom ramps up outages to Stage 6 (September 4, 6:38 p.m.)
South Africa’s state power utility will increase the intensity of electricity outages to the highest level in almost two months, due to the loss of two generation units and an increase in planned maintenance.
Eskom will remove 6 000 megawatts from the grid — known as stage 6 load shedding — from 5 a.m. Tuesday until further notice, it said on X. It’s currently shedding 5 000 megawatts.
The last time stage 6 was implemented was July 13, according to EskomSePush, an app that compiles data on load shedding.
CEO pick process requires ‘enhanced’ due diligence (September. 1, 10:54 a.m.)
The appointment of a permanent chief executive officer for Eskom is at an “advanced shareholder review stage,” though it requires additional checks because of the importance of the role to South Africa, according to the utility.
Andre de Ruyter stepped down as Eskom’s boss on February 22 after criticising the government and the ruling party over corruption.
Chairman Mpho Makwana said in March that there was a “rich” choice of candidates. “Given the systemic impact such an appointment has on Eskom and the country, an enhanced due diligence process has had to be conducted,” the company said in a reply to questions late Thursday.